The pandemic of 2020 pushed most of the world into a virtual environment.
Companies shut their doors, and teams started working from home to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The event industry perhaps saw some of the biggest changes, with most major events and conferences disappearing entirely.
The good news for businesses today is that virtual events are becoming a widely accepted way to share information about your product and generate excitement for your brand.
Even better, unlike standard events, virtual experiences often cost a lot less to put together. This means that you can create amazing experiences for your audience without draining your budget.
Here are some top tips for organizing a successful virtual product launch on a budget.
Prepare For a Memorable Experience
A product launch, virtual or otherwise, requires a lot of preparation.
You should think about what kind of information you’re going to share on the day, as well as the kind of teaser announcements you might leak to build excitement ahead of the event.
Take your time to look for the platforms that represent the best fit for your company.
For instance, some platforms are better suited to live video streaming, whereas others allow you to post scheduled sessions with keynote speakers and receive comments from your clients in real-time.
As virtual events become more common, it’s crucial to make sure that yours stand out.
How are you going to blow your customers away with an experience that feels similar to attending a launch in person?
Can you send freebies to your customers rather than giving them goodie bags at the event?
Will you be able to offer 3D experiences through virtual reality or augmented reality apps?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new kinds of technology so you can delight your audience.
Keep It Interactive
Virtual events are fantastic for a lot of reasons. They’re more affordable than their in-person alternatives, they require less travel, and they’re more accessible to a wider group of people.
You can also reduce your company’s environmental impact with a virtual event.
Unfortunately, it might be tougher to keep your users engaged when they’re not in a live environment.
You’re going to need to take extra steps to keep your customers from clicking away from your launch site or getting distracted by something else.
For instance, have contests for your customers to get involved in real-time, where they can win rewards by answering questions within a specific time frame, or “bid” for the chance to win on a live-streaming session.
You can also schedule side-desk meetings with members of staff from your team for people who might have questions about your product.
Collaborations can save you a lot of money and open the door for amazing experiences too.
Although collaborating with other companies can be daunting at first, it also means that you can host bigger competitions, find more speakers for your launch event, and potentially get more reach for the big day.
When deciding who to partner with, make sure that you choose companies that offer complementary, rather than competing products.
You don’t want your partners to pull too much attention away from you.
One example of a successful partnership is the one between Red Bull and GoPro. While they may be selling different products, they both appeal to an audience seeking an active lifestyle.
Another great example is the partnership between the mattress brand Casper and the furniture company West Elm. West Elm doesn’t sell mattresses, and Casper doesn’t have physical stores where you can try out their bedding products.
Such collaborations have enabled both brands to tap into each others’ customer base and provide a better experience to both existing and new customers.
Whenever you choose someone new to collaborate with on your launch event, make sure they have all the details they need to promote the experience properly.
You should all be working together to generate hype through as many avenues as possible.
This also means that you’ll need to choose your partners early, so you have enough time to develop excitement.
Be Careful About the Mediums You Choose
Product launch virtual events can feature everything from live-streamed video sessions to virtual reality experiences.
However, you don’t necessarily need your launch to include all of these elements.
Think about your budget and your customers.
For instance, you might be able to create an awesome AR app to allow customers to check out your new product through their smartphone, but would they have just as much of a good time with a live-streamed video event?
Similarly, spending a fortune on a virtual reality experience isn’t going to make much sense if the majority of your customers can’t afford their own VR headset.
Think about which mediums are going to help you build the deepest relationships with your customers.
You should look at where your clients are already active and consider asking for their opinions through polls and surveys about what your event should include.
Promote Your Event Through Various Touchpoints
Finally, getting the best return on investment from your virtual product launch means knowing how to promote the experience properly in advance.
For instance, you can improve your chances of attracting more people to your event if you create a landing page on your website where customers can subscribe for updates about the date, the speakers, and more.
You can even create an online registration page and offer benefits for early subscribers.
You could also look into getting active on social media. Find out which channels your customers are currently active on and consider working with influencers to build more attention for your brand.
Consider working with small influencers to gain more attention and invite them to guest speak at your product launch too if they have enough of an impact on your audience.
When you advertise your event, make sure that you pull out all the stops to increase event attendance.
Generating excitement with sneak peeks into what you’re going to be offering and encouraging social sharing is a good way to get started.
Enjoy Your Virtual Events
Virtual events are an eco-friendly, affordable, and memorable way to connect with customers.
When it comes to launching your next product, your virtual event gives you a chance to generate excitement and make a profit fast.
All you need to do is make sure that you have the right strategy in place to make your event a success.